31 October 2008

Using technology developed by Professor Benjamin Chain and patented by UCL Business, a team within UCL Immunology is conducting research that aims to develop an alternative strategy to develop a vaccine which can prevent HIV infection.

To support this ground breaking research UCL Business provided £25,000 Proof of Concept funding, supporting the science since inception. UCL has now received $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further support this exciting research.

In contrast to the conventional vaccine approach of stimulating an antibody response against the virus, Professor Chain’s team intends to stimulate a response against CCR5, a molecule used by the virus to enter the cells of infected individuals.

Professor Chain said “instead of focusing on paralysing the HIV pathogens themselves, we are investigating whether we can paralyse the mechanisms in our very own cells that allow HIV access to the human body, known as anti-self response”.

He continued…“ I am delighted that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have recognised the importance of this research which will have impact on a global scale. UCL Business have also been instrumental in supporting the new technology, securing the patent and are devoted to getting this treatment into clinic as soon as possible”

Mr Chris Loryman, Business Manager at UCL Business commented “Prof Chain is leading the development of a new class of compounds targeting HIV / AIDS, and other conditions.”

He continued…“These compounds represent work at the forefront of science, and may be a significant development in the treatment of HIV infection. We appreciate how important it is to develop new classes of compounds against HIV, and we will continue to work on developing these medicines as efficiently as possible.”

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Further Information:
For further information contact Chris Loryman, Business Manager, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, (c.loryman@uclb.com)